Review: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Aaaand..I’m finally writing it. See, I do this thing where I tell you guys the day I’m going to post a review, then post it 5 days later. Keep you on your toes, eh? Yeah, not buying it either. Master procrastinator, right here.

The Dark Knight Rises, the third installment in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy.  At the risk of you boo-ing me in the comment section, I will say that I liked The Dark Knight better. That’s not to say that this wasn’t a great movie, but I did have a few issues with it.

Let’s start with the things that made it good, though. Absolutely great performances. Anne Hathaway was deliciously catty and fun as Selina Kyle, both Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman made good use of their little screen time and I’m starting to think Joseph Gordon-Levitt is brilliant in every movie he does. He plays an honest, good to the bone cop, named John Robin Blake. I’m sure you get what that means.

I thought Christian Bale exaggerated in his performance from time to time, especially in the scene where he fights Bane and yells at him, but did a fantastic job otherwise of showing us a disgraced hero rising up to save the town he swore to protect.

Which brings us to Bane, the villain of The Dark Knight Rises. Now, if you ever read the comics then you know his story. He was raised in a prison, learned how to fight and be deadly and all that; he’s later forced to become a test subject for an experiment which almost kills him. The mask he wears has tubes that pump the drug they experimented with, Venom, right into his brain which in turn increases his physical strength.

You’ll notice that Nolan tweaked Bane’s history a bit and also his motivations for attacking Gotham City and Batman. That didn’t take away from Tom Hardy bringing to life a great villain that’s definitely to be feared. He’s vicious, strong and intelligent. He plays everyone, including Batman. However! – and let the lynching now being – I still think that the Joker, played by Heath Ledger, was a far better, far more interesting antagonist. Smarter, more unpredictable and off the charts nuts.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not comparing the two, they are, and respectively were, both good actors, but I think it’s very hard to top Ledger’s performance as The Joker.

Moving on, trust me when I say you’ll want to see this movie in IMAX, because it’s visually epic. It’s a superhero movie, so you bet you can expect some really well done fight scenes, great effects, some awesome explosion scenes, eye-catching stunts and Batman-worthy gizmos.  The dark and foreboding atmosphere was great as well.

It was good, it really was. And emotional. The ending was a surprise I didn’t see coming and it will undoubtedly make many people wonder. What if..?

However, it didn’t need to be this long. At 165 minutes long, TDKR drags the story a bit too much, with the middle of the movie having far too many unnecessary, unedited scenes. This is one of the reasons it feels more anti-hero centered, showing us a lot of Bane and is crew, rather than taking us down the road of Batman’s rise.  Maybe that would have been fine if we were talking about The Joker, but with a character such as Bane, it didn’t work.

Also, there were a couple of other things that didn’t make sense. Like how the mercenaries where out on the streets killing cops, yet they never once tried killing all  three thousand! cops they already had blocked in sewer tunnels? Instead they let them live and the cops got supplies and lasted as long as three months before getting freed. What?

The entire timeline of the movie is a bit confusing at times.

Yes, I did say that Bane made a great villain, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think Nolan could’ve done so much more with his character. You don’t understand his motivation for doing what he’s doing until 5 minutes before the movie ends. Then, Bam! you’ve got the Talia storyline. Finding out about her and having her killed 1 minute later made me feel cheated and confused, not surprised.

Despite all of that,  TDKR was a good movie and a decent ending to the trilogy, even if it didn’t stand up to the greatness of the other two previous installments.

So what have we learned, people?

1. Go buy yourself a ticket to see TDKR in IMAX, because it IS worth it.

2. The Joker>Bane

3.  If I had a meet-the-deadline kind of job, I would fail miserably at it.

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3 thoughts on “Review: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

  1. Nice! 🙂 I agree when you say the Dark Knight was better. Although I really enjoyed Bane because he was just as dangerous as the Joker, because he was sane, and a physical match for Batman 🙂

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